Ah, Wednesday, the day fans from St. Anthony to Blackfoot step through the doors of Outland Comics on 17th Street in Idaho Falls to flip thru the latest comics, discuss them with their fellow fans, and make their weekly purchases. It is a weekly ritual that may change if digital comics ever catch on.
What are digital comics?
Digital comics come in several forms. Some look just like the paper comic and are read on the computer screen such as at Marvel.com or ArchieDigital.com. Many fans complain they are difficult to read unless you have a giant screen. Some actually divide up the page into panels such as at Graphic.ly or Comixology, the latter offers various apps that allow you to read your comics either cut up into panels for the iPhone or iPod Touch, or as an entire page on the iPad. These seem to be better received. Marvel and DC Comics have also created ‘motion comics’ which are basically the comic books with limited animation and sound. These are sold thru iTunes and Amazon.com and are viewed as a movie. As of now, only older issues are available in digital comic form.
What are the advantages of paper comics?
• Paper comics are collectable; there are a limited number of first printings.
• Paper comics are larger and easier to read.
• You get to mingle with other fans at a comic store each week.
• Paper comics are the only way to get the latest issues.
What are the advantages of digital comics?
• Digital comics are cheaper, usually from $.99 to $1.99 or less with a subscription on a website. Paper comics average $2.99 to $3.99 per issue.
• Digital takes up much less space.
• Digital comics are more durable, don’t tear, and don’t age.
How will digital comics affect local comic shops in Southeast Idaho?
Right now, Outland Comics has nothing to worry about, because they offer a few things digital doesn’t and may never be able to: a place for fans to mingle, the latest issues, and comic-related collectibles. Only time will tell if digital comics are the way of the future or just another fad.